Easing the Pain of Password Management

The article “Estimating Password-Cracking Times” by the business software solutions company Better Buys asserts that a seasoned hacker could break the woefully inadequate yet commonly-used password “123456” in less than 0.29 milliseconds.

Now, it may be difficult to imagine anyone in today’s virtual world relying on “123456” to secure their data and personal information. But, In fact, for the better part of the new millennium, according to UMUC Cyber Connections Blog contributor Garrett Boyd, “123456” has remained—along with password, 12345678, qwerty and 12345—among the top five on the list of the 25 most commonly used and hackable passwords.

Boyd, a cybersecurity student and part of UMUC’s award-winning Cyber Padawans, has been working for nearly a decade in IT and cybersecurity in the United States Marine Corps. He recently posted “Five Tips to Make Password Management Easier,” offering solid ideas on creating complex and obscure passwords—ones that are hard for others to guess—to help strengthen your online security protocol, which should include using a different password for each discreet login and changing your passwords often.

But crafting hack-defying passwords, he said, is only as good as your ability to remember them. That’s a tall task, according to a 2016 Intel Security survey of more than 2,000 English-speaking adults, which indicated that between email, social media accounts, banking, utilities, productivity tools and online shopping the average person has 27 discreet logins.

See “Five Tips to Make Password Management Easier” for suggestions and links to useful cybersecurity resources, including the complete list of the world’s 25 worst passwords and the Better Buys no-cost tool that lets you test how long it will take a computer to crack your password!